Monday, November 21, 2022

What they didn't teach me at business school


Management cannot be reduced to a bunch of theories.

A two by two Matrix is deceptively beguiling, but it misleads.

People are a bundle of contradictions.

Know where a person is coming from. For that you have to know the incentive structure

Hope is everything. Always give hope.

Give the donkey a carrot to chase. But dangle the carrot just out of reach.

The threat of the stick is more effective than actually  wielding it

Keep people guessing. Too much certainty leads to complacency

The company is like an anthill. Keep the ants busily scurrying around all the time. Once in a while, poke a stick and stir the anthill up a bit.

A little bit of internal competition is good. When everyone is watching their backs, they remain alert.

Too much internal competition is bad. Always have a larger objective external to the current context.

Patriotism works. Chauvinism too. Except, replace "country " with "company" .

Working for profit in a closed environment brings out the worst in people. Your job is to channelise that worst towards achieving company goals.

There is no such thing as a company goal. Everyone is chasing individual goals. Design your incentive structures well.

HR's job is to make people live in constant fear and insecurity. And a permanent sense of inadequacy.

The higher you go, the more motherhoods you speak.

The more motherhoods you speak, the more wise you are considered to be.

Make sure the pyramid is broad. Every leader needs a mass of shoulders to stand on.

Everyone stands for the Anthem. Make sure there is an anthem.

Lack of clarity is dangerous. Too much clarity is even more dangerous.

Every person should aspire to reach the next higher rung. Every person should be wary of those who are one rung below.

Independent thinkers are dangerous to an organization's welfare.

Profit is the only real motive. But no one should realize that.

How to make a chore seem like a job; how to make a job seem like a career; how to wrap the career in a larger mission; how to pretend that the mission is part of a larger Vision - as CEO , that is your job, er, sorry, vision.

Package the mundane as something heroic - the raison de etre of corporate life is selling illusions. 

Delusion is important. And it needs to be fostered.

Buying the employees' time is easy. Worry about how to buy their soul.

How do you convince the employee that working on that mundane job will actually guarantee him a place in heaven - that is the CEO's full time job.

Every seat should be cushioned, so that the person gets comfortable. But every seat should have thorns hidden in it.

All doors are rotating, all chairs are moving.

A company should offer an illusion of stability, which should be just that, an illusion

Never go against the Zeitgeist, the climate of the times. In the US, have mixed gender Loos, and in India, make sure the models in your ads are wearing bindis.

It does not matter what the product is. Packaging is important.

Apart from good packaging, ensure every person gets what they want from your product. You should be able to sell viagra in a monastery by pitching it as a product that aids celibacy.

( Posted to my blog 

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